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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Following Hearing, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Formally Introduces Financial CHOICE Act of 2017

Federal Issues Financial CHOICE Act House Financial Services Committee Congress Dodd-Frank CFPB FDIC FSOC OCC FHFA

Federal Issues

On April 26, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to discuss The Financial CHOICE Act – a GOP proposal to “reform the financial regulatory system” that was initially introduced and considered, though differing in a number of respects from the current version, but not adopted in the last Congress. The hearing debated the merits of a discussion draft, which was released on April 19 by Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). Shortly after Wednesday’s hearing, Chairman Hensarling formally introduced H.R. 10, The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. An Executive Summary of the proposed legislation has also been released. 

The April 26 hearing – a video of which can be accessed here – included testimony from the following witnesses:

  • Mr. Peter J. Wallison, a Senior Fellow and Arthur F. Burn Fellow, Financial Policy Studies with the American Enterprise Institute 
  • Dr. Norbert J. Michel, a Senior Research Fellow, Financial Regulations and Monetary Policy, with the Heritage Foundation 
  • The Honorable Michael S. Barr, a Professor of Law at University of Michigan Law School 
  • Mr. Alex J. Pollock, a Distinguished Senior Fellow with the R Street Institute 
  • Dr. Lisa D. Cook, an Associate Professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University 
  • Ms. Hester Peirce, a Director in the Financial Markets Working Group and Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Mr. John Allison, Former President and Chief Executive Officer with the Cato Institute

On April 28, Democrats held a separate hearing pursuant to Clause (d)(5) of Rule 3 of the Committee rules, which entitles members of the minority party to call its own hearing on any matter that is the subject of a majority hearing. The second hearing day – a video of which can be accessed here – included testimony from the following witnesses:

  • The Honorable Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator
  • Rohit Chopra, Senior Fellow, Consumer Federation of America
  • Corey Klemmer, Corporate Research Analyst, Office of Investment, AFL-CIO
  • Rev. Willie Gable, Pastor, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.
  • John C. Coffee Jr., Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia University
  • Rob Randhava, Senior Counsel, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Melanie Lubin, Maryland Securities Commissioner, North American Securities Administrators Association
  • Emily Liner, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Program, Third Way
  • Amanda Jackson, Organizing and Outreach Manager, Americans for Financial Reform
  • Ken Bertsch, Executive Director, Council of Institutional Investors
  • Sarah Edelman, Director, Housing Policy, Center for American Progress (CAP)

Ranking Minority Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) also used the hearing to express her strong disapproval of what she has dubbed the “Wrong Choice Act.” Among other things, the ranking member alleged that the proposed legislation would “destroy[] Wall Street reform, gut[] the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and returns us to the financial system that allowed risky and predatory Wall Street practices and products to crash our economy.”